Oct 4, 2012 9:00pm PDT
night. when mitt romney beat president obama in last night's televised debate. so the first televised presidential debate that we had was in 1960. here are all of the other years that we have since have televised presidential debates. every four years now we have these debates on tv. the only years, though, so these are all the years, right, right? the only years, though, in which you had an incumbent president running against a challenger in all of the years we've had presidential debates on tv are these years. so in terms of understanding the historical context of what happened last night when mitt romney beat president obama in this first debate, this is the universe of like things to compare it to. this is how to understand it in terms of american political history. it's only these years right here. that's it. now, by definition, you never have an incumbent president in this situation more than once. presidents can only serve two terms so there's only one opportunity when they carry into that debate, when they're running for re-election, they carry into that debate the g
Oct 5, 2012 9:00pm EDT
2012 version of that theory now is that mitt romney cheated in the debate against president obama this week not by having somebody feed him the answers through an ear piece but rather by bringing the illegal crib sheet on to the debate stage with him. you see, previous debate rules have set out very clearly that, quote, no props, notes, charts, diagrams, or other writings or other tangible things may be brought into the debate by any candidate and yet have a look at this damning evidence. this is at the very beginning of the debate on wednesday night and as you'll be able to see clearly here what is that in your pocket? mr. romney very clearly pulls something from his right pocket and he pops it on to the podium in front of him. violation. violation. according to the conspiracy, complete with the grainy, slow mo youtube videos, this is mr. romney cheating. now he must have been working from note cards the entire debate. the explanation from the romney campaign is mr. romney was not pulling notes out of his pocket. he was pulling out of his pocket a handkerchief. sure enough, a lit
Oct 2, 2012 1:00am PDT
have a great debate, but president obama needs to make a mistake. you can be sure he's going to be guarding himself against. the biggest danger for obama is that he has the most to lose here because the election seems to be going his way. and therefore, if he's too cautious he will look too laid back and might let romney, who can be ferocious in these things, as we saw in the newt gingrich debate. but there's so much damage to undo about himself for romney before he gets to obama. the 47% comment and the whole image of somebody who doesn't care about the middle class and only the rich. he has to use the debate to repair that and only then can he pivot to obama, which is why he needs a long strategy. >> the last point is right. it's a difficult match between the venue, the medium in that debate and what he needs to accomplish, which is about seeming like a guy who cares about the middle class. there's ways to do that in ads and staging and all sorts of other things. hard when you're standing next to the president. but that's the distance he needs to to go. e.j.dionne, great to have
Sep 27, 2012 9:00pm EDT
the campaign in 2008, at the first debate between john mccain andarack obama, wchashis dat f years ago, the focus was the war. in fact, both wars. >> do you, senator mccain, much has been said about the lessons of vietnam. what d you see as the lessons iraq? >> i tnk the lesf iraq are very clear that you cannot have a failed strategy. thanks to this great general david pa ttr,hey are succeeding and winning in iraq. >> whether we should have gone into the war in the first place. six years ago i stood up and opposed this war. we hadn't finished the job in afghanistan. we hadn't caught bin laden. we hadn't put al qaeda to rest. and as aconsnc i thought that it was going to be a distractio now, senator mccain and president bush had a very different judgment. >> so that was this date, 40 days out from the election in '0and 40 days out from the election in '04. in '04 the campaign was consume e of our wars. 40 days out from the election in '08, in the midst of the financial meltdown the campaign was consumed with both of the wars. now it's 2012 and we're 40 days out from the election thi
Sep 29, 2012 6:00am EDT
ostentatiously republican leaning rasmussen poll gives president obama a one-point advantage nationally. basically across the board in the polls that matter, in the states that matter, the obama campaign is ahead. things could change. we've got the debate starting next week. it's a long way to go, it's politics. anything could happen. right now the obama campaign is solidly and consistently ahead. tactically what that means is the obama campaign has to convert being ahead in people's preferences to actual votes. since they are clearly ahead a good time to get those votes cast is right now. because thanks to early voting people are casting ballots right now. so this lead that they would in the polls can be turned into actual votes while they're still ahead even if they don't end up being this far ahead by election day. iowa became the first swing state in the nation where voters are actually voting early in person. iowa has these really interesting rules where if you get enough signatures from your area you can ask to have a pop-up polling place. sort of like if food trucks offered votin
Oct 3, 2012 4:00am EDT
best i can tell, because president obama gives a shout out to his chicago pastor at the time jeremiah wright. do either require as a first debate eve giant up-end the campaign surprise? joining us is steve smith. he's now an msnbc contributor. thank you for being here. big deal? >> probably not. it's old news. this is well-covered ground. and there's nothing in the speech that seems to me on the surface that's going to reset anything in the race. what it will do is create a conversation in conservative media about this event, the old tape here, as opposed to the expectations game that mitt romney is trying to control ahead of a really high-stakes debate. >> that's interesting. i don't mean to cast dispurgss on the journalist integrity, but i have noticed there have been a number of things that the ream campaign have wanted to inject into the campaign discussion that have been launched on the drudge report. so again, not casting dispurgss, but why do this the night before the debate? >> all of the discussion, all of the speculation in the political media is about how high the stakes ar
Oct 5, 2012 1:00am PDT
incumbent president, barack obama, come on, kids. buck up. challenger wins first debate is not a headline that should surprise anyone. let alone cause anyone to tear their hair out in disbelief. what happened last night is the historical norm. had mr. romney lost, given the fact he is behind the polls and given the fact that challengers basically always win the first debate against an incumbent president, it was notable and would have been fatal for the romney campaign. the fact it was the president who lost instead says what exactly about the rest of the race? exactly. this modern history right here, the complete record of the precedent for this thing in american politics, after what just happened at they debate last night. in terms of who won the first debate, the record for sitting presidents is 1-6 now after last night. but in terms of who went on to win the election after those first debates, look -- it's dead even. wins, three. losses, three. half these guys won, half these guys lost when it came to election day. and this year, who knows. the great dan rather joins us next.
Sep 28, 2012 12:00am EDT
this issue, we would be having a debate on this issue. we would be having a big national debate on this subject right now. because it very obviously needs debating. "wired" magazine today published e mar ternal assessme from afghanistan. and it shows sort of inadvertently what the effect has been of the big obama troop surge in the war. in 2009, after he was inaugurated, and there was a suertime surge of violence and attacks in afghanistan, president obama tookeveral tee ewamican to do an strategy in the war. you'll remember that he announced that the end of that review, at the end of 2009 in december, that he was going to send tens of thousands more american troops into afghanistan. une bamoumey said, was to so here's the data he was looking at in tes of what the taliban's momentum was when he made his decision to send the surge. what you're looking at there on the left is the calendar year. it's what the military in afanistan calls emy initiated attacks. ale ars allightin afghanistan all have that general sort of pattern where it peaks in the summer and drops in the winter. that'